Comment author: Ervin 04 April 2018 10:58:49PM 18 points [-]

Looking at the EA Community Fund as an especially tractable example (due to the limited field of charities it could fund):

  • Since its launch in early 2017 it appears to have collected $289,968, and not regranted any of it until a $83k grant to EA Sweden currently in progress. I am basing this on https://app.effectivealtruism.org/funds/ea-community - it may not be precisely right.

  • On the one hand, it's good that some money is being disbursed. On the other hand the only info we have is https://app.effectivealtruism.org/funds/ea-community/payouts/1EjFHdfk3GmIeIaqquWgQI . All we're told about the idea and why it was funded is that it's an "EA community building organization in Sweden" and Will McAskill recommended Nick Beckstead fund it "on the basis of (i) Markus's track record in EA community building at Cambridge and in Sweden and (ii) a conversation he had with Markus." Putting it piquantly (and over-strongly I'm sure, for effect), this sounds concerningly like an old boy's network: Markus > Will > Nick. (For those who don't know, Will and Nick were both involved in creating CEA.) It might not be, but the paucity of information doesn't let us reassure ourselves that it's not.

  • With $200k still unallocated, one would hope that the larger and more reputable EA movement building projects out there would have been funded, or we could at least see that they've been diligently considered. I may be leaving some out, but these would at least include the non-CEA movement building charities: EA Foundation (for their EA outreach projects), Rethink Charity and EA London. As best as I could get an answer from Rethink Charity at http://effective-altruism.com/ea/1ld/announcing_rethink_priorities/dir?context=3 this is not true in their case at least.

  • Meanwhile these charities can't make their case direct to movement building donors whose money has gone to the fund since its creation.

This is concerning, and sounds like it may have done harm.

Comment author: selfactualizer 09 March 2018 07:04:30PM 3 points [-]

Great content. I just poured through looking for feedback to give but the content is really great. Only note is if this is going to be done as a presentation in June I think it could get a lot more engaging with less written texts on the slide.

Comment author: Ervin 09 March 2018 10:49:33PM 0 points [-]

Seconded, this is worth sharing more broadly via the facebook groups!

Comment author: Tee 07 March 2018 05:38:24PM 4 points [-]

Thanks for asking Ervin. Were we to scale this project according to our estimates, we would need additional funding. There are also some small gaps in Rethink Charity operations that we'd like to fill. Talks are ongoing with CEA about additional funding either through their Grants or Funds programs

Comment author: Ervin 09 March 2018 01:42:50AM 8 points [-]

Huh, given the odd funding splurges (things like a $60k EA Grant for developing a new version of Less Wrong for people to have fun intellectual discussions on, and I believe a similarly luxuriant amount to EA Geneva) I'm surprised an organization which does as much as Rethink Charity isn't already fully funded by the movement building fund. Does anyone know how much money got donated to that and where it's gone?

Comment author: Ervin 06 March 2018 08:42:50PM 6 points [-]

Do you/Rethink Charity need funding? I presume the EA Community fund is throwing a healthy amount of money your work?

Comment author: casebash 03 January 2018 11:46:56PM *  5 points [-]

I also feel that EA hub is outdated. Firstly, I'm not a fan of the green design - I suspect that a more modern design would add credibility to the whole enterprise. Secondly, the interface isn't particularly well designed. I think it might be better if there was just one point for the people in each city and clicking there showed you all the names. Lastly, it seems like it would be nice if you could get notifications when a new person is found near you and if people to opt-in to receive messages from other EAs. If done well, we might make it significantly easier for new EA groups to get off the ground.

I also think that the difficulty in finding actions to take is very concerning. EA needs more do-ers than thinkers, but right now, we have a negative selection against do-ers because there are plenty of interesting ideas to think about, but much less clear actions to take.

Comment author: Ervin 04 January 2018 12:24:35AM 5 points [-]

Lastly, it seems like it would be nice if you could get notifications when a new person is found near you and if people to opt-in to receive messages from other EAs.

This would be a handy feature.

Comment author: Ervin 30 December 2015 05:51:56AM 4 points [-]

I'm not a huge fan of cross-posting things here that have appeared on organisational blogs before. Amongst several other problems it makes the EA Forum feel deader, like those subreddits filled only with link promotion. On the other hand I know you're one "little guy" (or perhaps "little outfit") without your own major blog, so need to post somewhere, so this is hardly the worst offence.

Comment author: Ben_Todd 18 December 2015 01:32:09AM 0 points [-]

They're influenced by GiveWell, and GiveWell is part of EA.

Or even if you don't think GiveWell is part of EA, they're very similar to EA in their approach, and many of the staff are explicitly EAs or supporters of EA. I think GiveWell has also been influenced by other groups in EA, though it's hard to tell.

Comment author: Ervin 22 December 2015 09:06:16PM 0 points [-]

I agree that GiveWell could be considered part of EA. Ultimately I see that as a merely semantic question. My and I think AGB's point is that the donors who follow GiveWell aren't self-identified members of the "EA movement", and aren't giving because of EA outreach specifically. It appears that organizations doing EA outreach specifically get much more than 5% of the money donated by members of the "EA movement" who were inspired to give by those organizations.

Comment author: Linch 21 December 2015 11:12:50PM 1 point [-]

I think this is an incredibly powerful post, and definitely worth sharing. I wonder if there's a way to edit some of it to make it more front-facing, without losing out on any of the emotional power.

Comment author: Ervin 22 December 2015 08:36:32PM 0 points [-]

Sadly, I don't think there's a way to make it a good 'front facing' pick, because it would seem too 'hardcore' to newcomers.

Comment author: Ben_Todd 15 December 2015 11:55:42PM 1 point [-]

On the silent donors, I'm not sure. If you're giving a lot of money to a GiveWell recommended charity or you're a member of GWWC, then functionally you're an EA (in my definition). But I agree many of them might not explicitly identify as EAs. I do think there's a significant intermediate group, but I'm not sure how many.

Perhaps more relevant, even if they don't identify as EA, where the silent donors give is influenced by EA. So I think there's still a good case for including them in the money moved. If we can persuade a big group of people to give to AMF but not metacharities, then it makes sense to do that, and then for the people who are interested in giving to either give to meta charity.

Comment author: Ervin 17 December 2015 05:26:33PM *  0 points [-]

Perhaps more relevant, even if they don't identify as EA, where the silent donors give is influenced by EA. So I think there's still a good case for including them in the money moved.

Can you explain why you're thinking that they're influenced by EA? It seems at least equally plausible that they're influenced by GiveWell, which is distinct from most EA meta-orgs, and operates using a different model. Are you thinking that there's another influence on them, like 80k or GWWC?

Comment author: Ervin 16 December 2015 08:47:25PM 0 points [-]

It's excellent to see you complete this! Good luck. Do you plan to write-up an evaluation of the project, and your thoughts on the best ways to ensure good EA work gets funded?

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